Useful country information
Land area: 21,781 sq mi (56,414 sq km); total area: 21,831 sq mi (56,542 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 4,470,534 (growth rate: -0.12%); birth rate: 9.49/1000; infant mortality rate: 5.87/1000; life expectancy: 76.41
Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Zagreb, 686,000
Other large cities: Split, 173,600; Rijeka, 142,500; Osijek, 89,600
Monetary unit: Kuna
National Name: Republika Hrvatska
Languages: Croatian (official) 95.6%, Serbian 1.2%, other 3% (including Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and Albanian), unspecified 0.2% (2011 est.)
Ethnicity/race: Croat 90.4%, Serb 4.4%, other 4.4% (including Bosniak, Hungarian, Slovene, Czech, and Roma), unspecified 0.8% (2011 est.)
National Holiday: Independence Day, October 8
Religions: Roman Catholic 86.3%, Orthodox 4.4%, Muslim 1.5%, other 1.5%, unspecified 2.5%, not religious or atheist 3.8% (2011 est.)
Literacy rate: 98.9% (2011 est.)
The lands that today comprise Croatia were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the end of World War I. In 1918, the Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes formed a kingdom known after 1929 as Yugoslavia. Following World War II, Yugoslavia became an independent communist state under the strong hand of Marshal TITO.
Although Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, it took four years of sporadic, but often bitter, fighting before occupying Serb armies were mostly cleared from Croatian lands.
Under UN supervision the last Serb-held enclave in eastern Slavonia was returned to Croatia in 1998.
In 2013 Croatia joined the European Union as its 28th member state.
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